Coffee Talk: Cupping Protocols ‘From Tree to Cup’

Coffee Beans

In celebration of the 4th Malaysia Barista Championship 2013 (MBC 2013) held in March 2013, prize sponsor Global Coffee Resources (GCR) along with MBC 2013 organizers Racing Creatures Sdn Bhd and Barista Guild Asia, organized a ‘From Tree to Cup – An Introduction to Cupping Protocols’ led by Barista Guild Asia’s Daniel Ming Liew. 

Coffee Tree
Coffee Tree

As MBC 2013 aims to be the platform for baristas to exchange experience, cultivate skills, advancing the barista profession, this workshop today further expanded on this idea with the help of Global Coffee Resources today.

Danie Liew conducting the class

In this workshop, the GCR hopes to educate the participants, especially the winners of MBC 2013 of whom will be embarking on a coffee farm tour to the Gayo Highlands in the coming months, into the process and protocols of cupping in specialty coffee and also to promote coffee excellence. 

Fresh grounds ready for cupping

MBC 2013 Champion, Jason Loo of Red Beanbag Cafe

The participants including notable MBC 2013 Grand Champion Jason Loo; 1 seven varieties of Indonesian Arabica Grade 1 coffee beans such as Ratawali, Gayo Grade 1, Sumatra, Lintong Grade 1, Sumatra, Mandheling Grade 1, Sumatra, Mandheling Organic (Fair Trade) Grade 1, Sumatra, Tobing Estate, West Java Grade 1, Kalosi Grade 1, Sulawesi, Toraja Grade 1, Sulawesi.

Cupping is the sensory analysis of the coffee and derives a score from the olfaction (smell), taste and mouth feel (body). The certification for expert cupping is called the Q grade. Coffees are scored on fragrance and aroma, flavour, acidity, sweetness, body, aftertaste and balance. 

 Daniel Liew  going through the scores with the participants

The SCAA score sheet allows some categories an intensity scale. Cuppers are calibrated and judge the coffees on their characteristics and not personal preference. After all this, coffee is awarded the ‘specialty’ label by obtaining a cupping score over 80. Experts who will agree on the quality must reach this score. Based on ascending order of the total score result from the cupping, which RATAWALI and TOBING ESTATE being rated the highest scores in the list.

Green Beans

All these processes and its methods play an important role in delivering the best cup of coffee to the consumer.  Failing which, the perfect cup of coffee lies in the hands of the skilled barista. 

Jasen Lee, General Manager of Global Coffee Resources

GLOBAL COFFEE RESOURCES (GCR) is a coffee company specializing in farming, sourcing, processing, roasting and serving high quality Arabica coffee.  GCR supplies green coffee beans and roasted coffee to those with a passion for premium quality coffee. Their commitment to providing the best quality beans at the most reasonable prices is made possible by being direct owners of a family coffee farm and working closely with a community of neighboring coffee farmers. Surrounded by indigenous pine trees, the Gayo highland produce a specialty coffee – “Arabica Gayo” – known in the international market as Sumatra Organic Gayo.

Their coffee farm at Ratawali Valley is located in the Gayo Highlands on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. The farm in Ratawali is at an altitude of 1,500m. One of our newly acquired coffee farm in Atu Lintang Valley is at 1,800m above sea level. Beside Sumatra, they another high quality farm producing Organic Arabica coffee in West Java is located in Pangalengan at an attitude of 1500m Global Coffee Resources is also a proud supporter of the 4th Malaysia Barista Championship 2013. 


  1. Daniel Liew is the Director of Barista Guild Asia (Coffee Academy)

  2. Best coffee brand collect their beans from a farm where process the fruit on the day of picking, and spread it on our drying platform for complete sun-drying.

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